After a year as an architectural blogger with The Grid, I have learned many things about my urban environment, writing, architecture and myself that I never would have otherwise. The past year has been quite exploratory for me as I moved to three different cities while investigating current architectural affairs. As I move forward, I hope that this practice of examining and discussing my urban environments will continue with me.
I began blogging in Switzerland in January 2014, after moving to a small town that no longer allows new construction. And even though there was not a lot of building going on, I found many interesting architectural topics of style, climate and historical preservation to discuss and that allowed me to reinforce the idea that architecture is much more than a built form.
From there I moved to one of the United States’ most entrepreneurial cities, San Francisco, a bustling center with a plethora of architectural ideas and design. It was difficult to know where to begin, but working with an architectural non-profit organization, being a tourist, and attending lunch discussions about good city planning certainly put me in the know. As I am interested in more sustainable and social architecture, I found topics about urban agriculture, homeless housing and post disaster shelters most interesting while exploring the city.
My final destination was on the other side of the world and a whole new architectural landscape in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. With limited building regulations and rapid urbanization, the city has a lot of construction going on, but very little architecture. However, in such a developing context, it was fascinating to explore what influences the urban environment and meet the architects, planners, and activists trying to shape its future. Many people only think of Cambodia’s ancient temples or tragic recent history, but today it is rebuilding itself and blogging for The Grid definitely provided me the initiative to investigate and explore the new horizons of the capital city.
I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I have had writing them, and perhaps learned a little about the local architectural issues of my cities. I have taken this opportunity with Global Site Plans to apply my studies and explore ideas of architecture and urbanism; now with my 25th blog post, I say farewell to The Grid - but will definitely keep exploring all forms of architecture wherever I go.
Credits: Data linked to sources. Images by Tara Whelan.